Articles

The Fickle Nature of Golkar Politics

The Jakarta Post
03 February 2010

 

Idnetifying The Fickle Nature of Golkar Politics
We encountered the lowest point in public morality when Sri Mulyani came to a Central Jakarta restaurant for a radio talk show.  The story  could be depressing unless we understand that it is all political. We have watched in dismay as the two most honest public officials in Indonesian history   were being lynched politically by Golkar and PDIP and harassed by ignorant mobs. Vice President Boediono and Sri Mulyani conducted themselves impeccably in the defendant's seat of the McCarthyesque special committee called Pansus. Then Sri Mulyani accepted an invitation to a radio talk show held in a restaurant. In less than half an hour noisy demonstrators appeared carrying mass-produced signs and pictures showing Sri Mulyani as a vampire. Their noise penetrated the doors a nd windows. It was so terrifying that most of the reporters covering the event fled the building. Only the host and guests of the talk show remained inside. 
The demonstrators screamed and shouted insults calling Sri Mulyani a thief.  After a while Sri Mulyani gave up trying to concentrate and excused herself, holding her composure as she waved wanly at the angry faces. To add insult to injury, a parliament member sent out a text message of pure fabrication. It was said in the sms that Sri Mulyani whom we know is a lady with poise had given the mob the finger sign and mouthed obscenities. The sms was a clear lie, proving what Adolf Hitler wrote about a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Fortunately the lie was soon exposed by the producer of the radio program, Eddy Koko, who sent out another sms testifying that he was at Sri Mulyani’s side escorting her to her car and  stood beside her as she smiled and waved at the raging mob.
In a few years that disgraceful moment could be used by historical novelists as the lowest point in the lynching of SMI-Boediono, as we move to a new political scenario kick ed off by the ND (National Democrats) who profess to be a social action group. Anyone with more than five years practice in political analysis can clearly see the signals.  Social organization turns into mass movement then turns into political party if they gather enough steam.  Why another party, don’t we have enough? The fact is that although Golkar and PDI are huge parties, they have strayed from their birthright of democracy, turning into vehicles of personal ambition.  The leaders of each party are so powerful that they overshadow the parties’  diversity. Megawati started out as the beacon of the oppressed and  has turned  into a stone wall. Bakrie came to the rescue of a party wrecked by JK's ambition.  He used his money-power combo skillfully, completing the transition of a political-powered businessman into a business-powered politician.
Aburizal Bakrie is now poised to be president,  basking in self-congratulation. He  assumes Golkar will win the 2014 elections,  while hinting loudly at the possibility of himself becoming president.  But clouds are on the horizon. In a fickle turn of events, his skeletons are coming out of his closet:  Lapindo Mud, Tax Fraud  and  the ominous Pansus. The first two call for defensive action but  Pansus-Century calls for strategy changes. Bank Century crashed in November 2008. The government took quick action to avert a full-scale crisis in the form of the famous bailout which did not meet with serious objections, in fact inviting considerable  praise from bankers. Nine months later Aburizal Bakrie took over as Chairman of the Golkar Party. After a brief unsuccessful meeting with newly reappointed Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, Golkar launched a major offensive on her and Vice President Boediono, disregarding the avenues available to them as a coalition partner of the SBY-Boediono government. 
Now  Surya Paloh enters the scene dramatically,  launching  the National Democrats (ND). Some call it the Club of Losers, referring to leaders who include two defeated candidates for Golkar chairman, politicians facing dead ends, and intellectuals seeking political rewards. ND is also endorsed by the losers of the presidential elections.  But politics is like tennis. Losers of the first set can become winners of the second set.  Aburizal Bakrie himself was a loser when he lobbied for mercy from his creditors ten years ago and and surrendered his television station to StarTV  two years ago.  He has since risen from the financial grave by effective lobbying skills and luck on the stock market. 
Politics can be fickle, sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you.  Surya Paloh is looking for his cues. One of the early initiatives Paloh took was defining his stance on the Century case. Observing the surge in support for   Sri Mulyani, he is throwing his weight behind her. The corollary is  to attack Bakrie’s  tax liabilities, which he has done  in a television special on the case that could well amount to more than Rp 10 Trillion.  Renewed publicity on the Lapindo disaster will come . If all this happens, Bakrie will  see his chances sink into the mud. 
In any case, the  battle between Bakrie and the Finance Minister is yielding center stage to a duel  between two presidential aspirants. Surya Paloh already has his running mate, the mildly popular Sultan of Yogya. Aburizal Bakrie can choose among Golkar stalwarts Bambang Soesatyo and Idrus Marham  for his vice presidential partner.  In our democracy it is not for us to say whether these are good candidates or not. But they are professional politicians with deep pockets, and will preempt perennial small fish like Amien Rais and Dien Syamsudin.  SBY is not running so we hope he will meet his destiny to head an effective government of  Indonesia and become a world statesman after President Obama’s visit in March. 
Another group of people are standing in the sidelines,  yet deeply involved in the issues.  These are the growing communities of facebookers, tweeters, bloggers churning out thousands of words, mostly in praise and support for Sri Mulyani and Boediono.  Look in my facebook. Koprol, twitter and blog and you can see for yourself. The new media may well make the day. But then, I said Arsenal would climb to number one and they have not. Yet.

 

by Wimar Witoelar

We encountered the lowest point in public morality when Sri Mulyani came to a Central Jakarta restaurant for a radio talk show.  The story  could be depressing unless we understand that it is all political. We have watched in dismay as the two most honest public officials in Indonesian history   were being lynched politically by Golkar and PDIP and harassed by ignorant mobs. Vice President Boediono and Sri Mulyani conducted themselves impeccably in the defendant's seat of the McCarthyesque special committee called Pansus. Then Sri Mulyani accepted an invitation to a radio talk show held in a restaurant. In less than half an hour noisy demonstrators appeared carrying mass-produced signs and pictures showing Sri Mulyani as a vampire. Their noise penetrated the doors and windows. It was so terrifying that most of the reporters covering the event fled the building. Only the host and guests of the talk show remained inside. 

The demonstrators screamed and shouted insults calling Sri Mulyani a thief.  After a while Sri Mulyani gave up trying to concentrate and excused herself, holding her composure as she waved wanly at the angry faces. To add insult to injury, a parliament member sent out a text message of pure fabrication. It was said in the sms that Sri Mulyani whom we know is a lady with poise had given the mob the finger sign and mouthed obscenities. The sms was a clear lie, proving what Adolf Hitler wrote about a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Fortunately the lie was soon exposed by the producer of the radio program, Eddy Koko, who sent out another sms testifying that he was at Sri Mulyani’s side escorting her to her car and  stood beside her as she smiled and waved at the raging mob.

In a few years that disgraceful moment could be used by historical novelists as the lowest point in the lynching of SMI-Boediono, as we move to a new political scenario kicked off by the ND (National Democrats) who profess to be a social action group. Anyone with more than five years practice in political analysis can clearly see the signals.  Social organization turns into mass movement then turns into political party if they gather enough steam.  Why another party, don’t we have enough? The fact is that although Golkar and PDI are huge parties, they have strayed from their birthright of democracy, turning into vehicles of personal ambition.  The leaders of each party are so powerful that they overshadow the parties’  diversity. Megawati started out as the beacon of the oppressed and  has turned  into a stone wall. Bakrie came to the rescue of a party wrecked by JK's ambition.  He used his money-power combo skillfully, completing the transition of a political-powered businessman into a business-powered politician.

Aburizal Bakrie is now poised to be president,  basking in self-congratulation. He  assumes Golkar will win the 2014 elections,  while hinting loudly at the possibility of himself becoming president.  But clouds are on the horizon. In a fickle turn of events, his skeletons are coming out of his closet:  Lapindo Mud, Tax Fraud  and  the ominous Pansus. The first two call for defensive action but  Pansus-Century calls for strategy changes. Bank Century crashed in November 2008. The government took quick action to avert a full-scale crisis in the form of the famous bailout which did not meet with serious objections, in fact inviting considerable  praise from bankers. Nine months later Aburizal Bakrie took over as Chairman of the Golkar Party. After a brief unsuccessful meeting with newly reappointed Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, Golkar launched a major offensive on her and Vice President Boediono, disregarding the avenues available to them as a coalition partner of the SBY-Boediono government. 

Now  Surya Paloh enters the scene dramatically,  launching  the National Democrats (ND). Some call it the Club of Losers, referring to leaders who include two defeated candidates for Golkar chairman, politicians facing dead ends, and intellectuals seeking political rewards. ND is also endorsed by the losers of the presidential elections.  But politics is like tennis. Losers of the first set can become winners of the second set.  Aburizal Bakrie himself was a loser when he lobbied for mercy from his creditors ten years ago and and surrendered his television station to StarTV  two years ago.  He has since risen from the financial grave by effective lobbying skills and luck on the stock market. 

Politics can be fickle, sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you.  Surya Paloh is looking for his cues. One of the early initiatives Paloh took was defining his stance on the Century case. Observing the surge in support for   Sri Mulyani, he is throwing his weight behind her. The corollary is  to attack Bakrie’s  tax liabilities, which he has done  in a television special on the case that could well amount to more than Rp 10 Trillion.  Renewed publicity on the Lapindo disaster will come . If all this happens, Bakrie will  see his chances sink into the mud. 

In any case, the  battle between Bakrie and the Finance Minister is yielding center stage to a duel  between two presidential aspirants. Surya Paloh already has his running mate, the mildly popular Sultan of Yogya. Aburizal Bakrie can choose among Golkar stalwarts Bambang Soesatyo and Idrus Marham  for his vice presidential partner.  In our democracy it is not for us to say whether these are good candidates or not. But they are professional politicians with deep pockets, and will preempt perennial small fish like Amien Rais and Dien Syamsudin.  SBY is not running so we hope he will meet his destiny to head an effective government of  Indonesia and become a world statesman after President Obama’s visit in March. 

Another group of people are standing in the sidelines,  yet deeply involved in the issues.  These are the growing communities of facebookers, tweeters, bloggers churning out thousands of words, mostly in praise and support for Sri Mulyani and Boediono.  Look in my facebook. Koprol, twitter and blog and you can see for yourself. The new media may well make the day. But then, I said Arsenal would climb to number one and they have not. Yet.

short URL

 

from Radio Australia:

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/201002/s2808992.htm

Wimar Witoelar is a longtime Indonesian political commentator.

WITOELAR: They gathered people from across party lines, mostly those who have been losers in one way or another. So they call this a 'club of losers", among those people who are not in it. But that is not to say they they will be forever losers; in tennis you can lose the first set but win the second set.

BAINBRIDGE: And while the organisation claims it's not a political party, Wimar Witoelar says if the momentum is there it will become a party some time in the future.

WITOELAR: More specifically it's about securing a position in the political scene, in anticipation maybe of the elections in 2014, still a long way off, but at this moment we have no credible candidates. President Yudhoyono is not eligible to run again and nobody is on the horizon, except pretty small fish. But Aburizal Bakrie has now become a realistic possibility. He has the money, he has the media, he has the network to be a candidate and Surya Paloh sees himself has the only person to compete with him.

BAINBRIDGE: But that, he says, wouldn't worry President Yudhoyono.

WITOELAR: If I were SBY I would be very happy. Because it splits the opposition and distracts them from their cabal against the economic ministers.

BAINBRIDGE: At the heart of Golkar's internal rift is the push by Aburizal Bakrie to oust the highly respected finance minister Sri Mulyani - who's been supporting an investigation into his tax affairs. Wimar Witoelar says Paloh is marshalling the sizeable number of Golkar members would prefer Sri Mulyani keep her job.
WITOELAR: Surya Paloh recognises that Sri Mulyani is too popular and too competent to be driven away from office, plus nobody in their right mind would really remove her since if she goes the whole banking system goes and, of course, even the opposition have bank accounts.

 

 

 

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15 Comments:

  1. From Tono on 03 February 2010 10:42:44 WIB
    selamat berjuang OM Wim ....
    semoga sukses menjaga kebenaran di Negeri Ini
  2. From Anggara Sugiharto on 03 February 2010 11:49:49 WIB
    Pak, saya mendukung sepenuhnya upaya bapak....semoga kebenaran dapat terus ditegakkan...amin^^
  3. From Adi on 03 February 2010 15:51:54 WIB
    Great Perspective..
  4. From andri on 03 February 2010 16:23:54 WIB
    tulisan yang menarik om!
    saya juga termasuk yang mendukung SMI...
    terus lakukan kampanye positif untuk SMI
  5. From ramadhan on 03 February 2010 16:38:02 WIB
    i love your term \"club of loosers\". Stiil become our culture, when we lose in Party Chairman , just make new party. hehehehe
  6. From Teguh Hidayat on 03 February 2010 16:41:39 WIB
    Dear sir Wimar

    You said that there is nobody in the horizon, except pretty small fish. Well then, I think that was a bit underestimating. But that\'s only my opinion. My questions is, what made you thought that some of newbie figures such as Muhaimin, Anas, or even Dedy Mizwar, do not have a chance to join the race?

    I remember when Megawati had the throne at 2004, it was seems that SBY was nobody. Or when the young Ahmad Heryawan won the west java governor election. Or when some of \'purely nobody\' such as celebrities and comedian won the chair of the House. And so on.. Who can guarantee that from the \'club of losers\' will not rise a winner?

    Bakrie, yes, he has everything to be elected in 2014. But if we look at his past, and many cases surrounding him, then probably he\'s not that good. We all know that SBY relatively had nothing 6 years ago, no money, no media, but he made it.
  7. From Chandra on 03 February 2010 16:46:45 WIB
    I applaud courage as demonstrated by Sri Mulyani. Despite mounting pressure she is far from whining which shows her statesmanship. Why can\'t SBY learn from SMI, stop whining, and start focus on tons of unfinished jobs, and let his men handle the lynch mob.
  8. From wimar on 03 February 2010 16:52:20 WIB
    Thank you friends. This is an opinion and I am sure you all have your opinions. I appreciate you support and feedback. Morer important, let us keep the institutions that we cherish and the public officials who have worked so hard to dignify them.
  9. From rio edison on 03 February 2010 21:13:19 WIB
    analisa yang jernih dan menohok. walau saya bukan simpatisan SMI, tapi tulisan WW memperlihatkan analisa seorang pengamat yang obyektif dan berdasar. salut
  10. From rio edison on 03 February 2010 21:15:49 WIB
    analisa yang jernih dan menohok. walau saya bukan simpatisan SMI, tapi tulisan WW memperlihatkan analisa seorang pengamat yang obyektif dan berdasar. salut
  11. From Rory Asyari on 04 February 2010 03:01:06 WIB
    Dear Mr. Wimar,

    Firstly I would convey my high appreciation towards your current writing. I consider it as an enlightenment for our people as well as international media, which reveals the hidden grand design behind Pansus\' agendas in weakening our government. We need more people like you to change the paradigm of those \"blind-protesters\" that they know nothing about what they\'re striving for. instead of striving for for the truth, they\'re fooled by chair-greedy politicians, including Bakrie and the gank.
    I think what we need right now is neither new government nor its parts. All we need is giving the current government a second chance but still critical and rise cooperative behavior in order to maximize its role to improve our people\'s prosperity and clean bureaucracy. But indeed, chair-greedy politicians will remain and become our enemy to beat for.That\'s the challenge we should face and solve.
  12. From catur setiono on 04 February 2010 08:33:25 WIB
    Bung Wim...saya rasa yang paling bertanggung jawab dan menyumbang saham paling besar dalam \"tragedi\" penggiringan opini masyarakat dalam kasus Bank Century dengan cara memojokkan dan menyalahkan pejabat tertentu, yang menurut saya paling profesional dan kredibel saat ini adalah media massa karena mereka lah yang membesar-besarkan berita sensasional yang belum tentu dapat dipertanggungjawabkan kebenarannya secara pers yang profesional.
  13. From Ludjana on 04 February 2010 15:25:51 WIB
    Saya setuju dengan saudara Chandra:
    Stop whining !!!
    Show character, like Sri Mulyani does !!!
    The people, including me, need leaders !!!

    Presiden jangan terlalu banyak mengeluh, sehingga orang tidak melihat prestasinya, yang sebetulnya ada.
    Tentunya tidak sekaligus semuanya sempurna.

  14. From Ir Pontas Silaen on 07 February 2010 13:57:26 WIB
    Bro Wimar
    Saya ingin bertanya kenapa manusia manusia kelas sampah bisa sampai duduk di Senayan. Memang dulu waktu jaman kuliah banyak teman teman yang luntang lantung di Kampus akhirnya jadi anggota Senat dan Dewan dulu mereka ini kami sebut sebagai Fakultas Teknik Jurusan Mahajaya,tapi heran loh lama kelamaan orang orang ini bahkan bisa jadi anggota DPR RI (ndak usah saya sebut nama). Karena itu nggak heran kalau kelas nalar, struktur berpikirnya, misi dan visi nya.
    Jadi jangan heran kalau pendemo yang bawa kerbau itu kalau dia sampai di interview oleh TV (pasti merasa dilangit yang ketujuh) habis sekolahnya orang itu pasti pasti nggak jelas, dia nggak tahu mau bikin apa.Padahal kalau dia kuliah bagus bagus terus prestasi Summa Cumlaude, nanti diterima di PNS atau Perusahaan Asing gaji tinggi, kawin, punya mobil, rumah, keluarga (Anak anak saya dan Keponakan saya semua saya arahkan begitu dan berhasil, hebat hebat dan kaya kaya walau masih muda tidak ada yang KKN), nggak ada yang bawa kerbau untuk jadi berhasil.
  15. From Isti Hanifah on 08 February 2010 11:01:01 WIB
    i work in Department of Finance, I know hos does it feel to be accused that way. even when I am not in SMI\'s position, what those pansus doing were really overrated. as if they knew what\'s really going on. and the protesters outside my office were even more overrated. they don\'t even know what they\'re doing. people should see form different perspective, and be fair in judging people.
    salute to you WW..
    me love this writing..^^

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